Wednesday, March 8, 2017

It's Hard to Be Grateful When There is So Much to Complain About

Living in a primarily farming community, it's common to hear: "It's too cold!" "It's too hot." "There's too much snow!" "Too much rain." "It's too dry." "Why does it have to be so windy?" and even "There's not enough wind to dry up the muddy fields."

Being a parent of several teenagers and young adults, it's common to hear: "You never listen to me." "Why do I have to do everything?" "You never let me go anywhere." "Ugh, I hate school!"

As a wife/mother/friend/human, it's common to hear myself say: "You don't help out enough." "You never have time for me." "I hate that this house is such a mess!" "I hate never having enough money!"

I don't think I've ever truly realized how much complaining most people do - myself definitely included. It's so easy to focus on the things we don't have... the things that aren't going right... the health problems and money issues and behaviors of others and the weather and the economy and the government and the list goes on and on. Almost every conversation with people includes at least one complaint (often from myself).

The problem with this is that when we spend so much time complaining, our focus is on what we deem negative in this life. It takes our focus off of God and all the blessings he has given us. It takes our focus off the fact that our great Creator has given us rain to water the crops and sunshine to help them grow. It takes our focus off the fact that God has blessed us with children. It takes our focus off the fact that we have loved ones in our lives who love and support us. That we have been blessed with a roof over our heads, and food on our tables.

Tonight's Lenten sacrifice:

Give up complaining.

When you hear yourself utter words of complaint, quickly turn those words around into something to be grateful for. Just that one small act helps us see the magnificence of the Lord, and can make us happier and more willing and able to care for others and serve our Creator.

With grateful hearts we come to you oh Lord. Thank you for this day - for the beauty of all your creation. Thank you for our families, friends, homes, food, and all the blessings you have provided us. Help to keep our hearts grateful, and to keep them turned towards you. In the name of our greatest God-given blessing - our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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